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MOBILE CRANE OIL LEAKS INVOLVED IN ROAD DEATHS

Inquiry hears crane not road safe and lists ticked without checks being made

The managing director of a hire firm has admitted a mobile crane that leaked oil on the A92 before a fatal car crash was not safe for the road.

The Terex mobile crane was travelled south on the A92 Stonehaven to Montrose road on January 9, 2008.  Later that morning mother of two Ann Copeland passed along the same stretch of road taking her daughters to school. All three died after their car skidded out of control on a bend and collided with an oncoming vehicle.

Road surface slippery with oil

Police and witnesses told the Inquiry that the road surface was slippery with oil. The Inquiry has concentrated on the vehicle servicing and maintenance regime and condition of a hydraulic hose found to be leaking oil on the day of the accident.

Lawrence Whyte, 40, of William Whyte Cargo Handlers initially told the inquiry in Stonehaven Sheriff Court that he believed the crane was roadworthy. However, he went on to admit it was not when shown the condition of some of its parts.

The crane driver and mechanic stated that full services were never carried out on the crane. The Inquiry heard that boxes in daily and weekly checklists were ticked without doing the required checks. The Inquiry is scheduled to resume on April 7.

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